Hockey: Hampstead’s Martin relishing leadership role at World Cup
PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 November 2018
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Hampstead & Westminster’s Harry Martin admits he is starting to feel old, as he prepares to compete in the World Cup in India later this month.
Martin, 26, made his tournament debut at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and has played at a variety of international events since.
As well as playing in two Olympic Games for Great Britain, he has won bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, World League final and European Championships and was named in an 18-strong England squad by new head coach Danny Kerry.
Having won his latest bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Australia earlier this year, he said: “I’m obviously delighted. We’ve had a lot of changes with a new coach coming in, but it has been refreshing and we’re really excited.
“I had a completely open mind. Danny has done some unbelievable stuff with the women over the last 10 years and has brought in players who have made an impact on the squad.
“It’s made me feel very old, for the first time! I’ve got a bit more of a leadership role and I’ve really enjoyed it. I thought I’d hate it!”
Kerry took over as men’s coach in August, having led the GB women to that memorable Olympic gold in Rio in 2016.
And Martin says he is enjoying the challenge of performing as one of the more experienced members of the current squad, adding: “The new ideas have been brilliant for all of us. There has been a bit of an adjustment to make, but I’ve got my head down and done what he wanted me to and luckily it has paid off with selection.
“I’ll try to express myself a bit more. We haven’t talked expectations yet, but we want to keep building.
“We’re not up there with the favourites, but we want to build momentum. It’s a World Cup and we’d love to win it but we’re realistic.
“We’re a bit behind. We’re in a building phase with a new way of playing but we’ve got a few young guys who have done fantastically well and shown no fear.”
One of the newcomers to have been included is Martin’s Hampstead 22-year-old team-mate Will Calnan.
And the 194-cap ‘veteran’ says it is great to see him involved, although he does miss playing club hockey.
Martin added: “Will has been around a bit longer than some of the other young guys and is such an exciting player and a great lad to be around.
“I played the first two matches for Hampstead but none since. It has been tough. I love club hockey and you want to be involved in club, but international hockey has to take priority.”